Until recently, near-infrared (λ = 1-2.5 µm) detectors have suffered from significant readout-noise that has limited their sensitivities in high frame-rate applications. New near-infrared Avalanche Photo-Diode detector arrays are only now becoming available with effectively zero read-noise. These new devices will be the detector of choice for high-speed wave-front sensing and science applications on instrumentation for the next generation of astronomical telescopes, such as the Giant Magellan Telescope. The Australian National University is developing adaptive optics systems and instrumentation for this telescope and as part of this work we are building a high-speed camera to take near-infrared images with the same resolution as the Hubble Space Telescope.
This project has a strong focus on astronomical instrumentation and will contain elements of: deriving the scientific requirements of the instrument; considering its operational specifications; and, preparing the detailed science proposals that will be undertaken with the new camera.